Indicators of self-love issues:
- Being hyper-critical of yourself
- Difficulty in loving others (because you must first love yourself)
- Self-sabotage (not doing what you KNOW you should be doing)
- Being self-conscious in social situations
- Difficulty in fully accepting compliments
- No accomplishment is ever enough, even temporarily
- Not valuing your own time and priorities (being overly nice to others)
Self-love is the foundation of most every self-improvement topic. If you’re looking to be the best version of yourself, this is the place to start.
This is something that everyone can work on, no matter how much you love yourself. There is no limit as to how much self-love you can cultivate and the benefits you can reap from it.
Note: These exercises might feel weird, awkward and fake at first, but that will change quickly. The phrase “fake it til you make it” really applies to self-love.
Go into a room with a mirror and lock the door. Get close to the mirror, no more than a foot away. Stare deep into your eyes for 2 minutes. Not in the way that you normally look at yourself in the mirror — actively become aware that this is you. Once that strange sensation comes over you, repeat the words ‘I love you’ out loud for a minute. Then begin stating things that you like about yourself — how you look, things that you’re good at, what you’re accomplished, etc.
This sounds really silly, but it feels fantastic. Reach your hands as far around you as possible and squeeze. Hold this for a minute or two while repeating ‘I love you’ and really feeling it. Focus your awareness on the area around your heart.
Reverse Each Criticism
Whenever you hear yourself criticizing yourself, immediately follow it up with two compliments, ideally but not necessarily related to the criticism.
Feeling love towards others is a good way to ramp up towards showing love to yourself. Go through the people you care most about in your mind and send them love. Picturing yourself giving them a huge hug. Wish them a fantastic day and the fulfillment of the dreams most dear to them. After you’ve gone through your family and closest friends, do the same for yourself.
If you have issues with valuing your own time, pick one day a week to focus entirely on yourself. Take the extra time to make the food you love the most, take an extra long shower, sleep in, etc. Show yourself love just like you would your significant other.
Love, Love, Love
Take a few introspective minutes to look for the indicators of self-love issues in your life. I cannot explain how empowering it feels to shift from a place of lack to a place of full self-love and acceptance. Self-love is the foundation for everything.